Yesterday, we took an imaginary tour of our homes to find if there are certain hazards that could cause injury to individuals, especially senior citizens.  We  continue today with more safety tips.  Please think about keeping your home safe for all who live there, regardless of their ages, and when older visitors come, pay close attention to the tips we have already mentioned.  Here are more safety ideas: 

Although we are all getting older with each day, exercise is very important.  The earlier you begin an exercise program, the better.  Always ask your doctor about the type of exercise you can do safely, if you have health problems.  Your health may be hurt more by inactivity than by exercise, because with age,  we lose ground in four areas: strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.  Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay dementia, according to the National Institute of Health.  Fitness experts can work out a customized plan for individuals to exercise safely.

 Now, let’s talk about keeping medications either in clearly marked containers or in a medication organizer with individually sealed slots for every day of the week.   Those who have poor vision or other health problems could ask a family member to help with this.  

Have important phone numbers programmed in your home phone and/or cell phone.  If you go for a walk, take your cell phone, just in case of emergency, such as a fall.   Take along a cane or walking stick of some type just in case a “friendly” dog comes along; this will help with balance, as well as letting him know he needs to move on.  Dogs can jump up on those who are unsteady, causing them to fall.  Cats can easily trip someone.   I’ve known this to happen, and in both instances, broken hips were the result.  One lady died from complications following the hip surgery.

Place deadbolts and peepholes on the doors to your home, and keep the doors locked.  Don’t let strangers in without verifiable identification, don’t reveal you are alone, and always have your neighbors contact info.  Many persons choose to install a home security system.  Schemes abound for all of us – old, young, and inbetween.  When you are out shopping, keep purses close to you, and, guys, don’t keep a wallet in your back pocket.  Tell a family member or friend where you are going, avoid traveling alone, stay away from dimly lit  surroundings, and carry a whistle or other alarm.  Don’t sit in your parked car, counting money, or talking on a cell phone without locking the door first, and be sure you are in a safe area.  If you need handicapped parking accessibility, it’s there for you if you have a placard on your car or license plate.  If you don’t, please leave that space for someone who does qualify.  A caregiver or handicapped person will thank you for doing that.    When driving, don’t talk on the cell phone.  If you have taken medication, and are feeling drowsy, ask someone else to drive you where you need to go.  

Be aware of internet or phone fraud.  According to AARP, many senior citizens are victims of fraud.  Here’s some reminders about this subject:

  • Never give out information such as your social security number or other personal information on the phone or internet.
  • Stay informed of current schemes.
  • Don’t freely give large amounts of cash. 
  • Research a home-repair company’s credentials.  Use reputable local contractors for repairs. 
  • Don’t fall for the “You’ve won the jackpot!” ploy.  This is probably a scam.
  •  If you receive a call saying it is from your internet provider and you have a virus, and they can fix it for you from their office, don’t believe it.  Call them to verify the call.  It’s probably another “phishing” scam.

Last, but not least, consider a security alert button if you are at risk for falling, or have a chronic illness that may require urgent medical attention.  A  monitoring system similar to Life Alert will sound for help if you have fallen, or unable to talk due to a head injury or stroke.  Most systems are portable and can be worn as a necklace or bracelet.  Once the button is pressed, emergency personnel or the primary caregiver is immediately notified and contact is made with the client.  Others such as wearable health monitoring systems  alert medical personnel of any changes in the body via sensors.  A new senior cell phone option is an emergency cell phone that provides wide emergency response coverage, unlike most medical alarms that work only within or near your home.  It has an SOS button that will activate automatic dialing, which contacts up to five pre-programmed numbers to call for help.  It can also power up a loud alarm to call attention of nearby people that someone needs help.

Aren’t we lucky to live in an age where we can get assistance in many instances by merely pressing a button?  Never hesitate to ask for help when you need it.  You have a family member, neighbor, or friend who is there simply for the asking.  Don’t take chances with your safety – you are too important!


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